Blog Post

No Boundaries 2017


"Why doesn't the arts sector work with real people more?" 

Creative Barking and Dagenham. Cultural Connectors at DAGfest 2015. Photo Dabuju Media

At the end of March, Helen Ball from Creative Barking and Dagenham, together with local residents and Cultural Connectors Farida Mohamed and Susanna Wallis, spoke at No Boundaries, a national symposium for arts and culture.

Helen, Farida and Susanna made a passionate case for involving real people in arts projects and talked about how sharing power in artistic commissioning is having a transformative effect on people's experience of the arts and perception of place in Barking and Dagenham. They also challenged delegates to think about ""Why doesn't the arts sector work with real people more?" 

Watch their moving and inspiring presentation here:

Creative Barking and Dagenham is a Creative People and Places project that has become known for its flagship 'Cultural Connectors' network. Barking and Dagenham was voted the worst place to live in the UK in 2015. Despite this, participation and support for the arts is thriving, and more people year on year are getting involved in choosing, steering and leading arts projects and events where they live, with demand for the arts growing further still.

If you're interested in finding out more about their approaches, Creative Barking and Dagenham are running an Arts Engagement 101 training workshop on Thursday 15 June. This is for anyone who wants to engage their local audiences and/or find deeper ways to connect their audiences with their organisation or project. You can find out more here

Becontree 100 commission with photographer AF Rodrigues. Photo AF Rodrigues